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India ranked 143 on Global Peace Index 2014

Global Peace Index (GPI) for year 2014 has been released by Institute for Economics and Peace in London. The GPI measured peace in 162 nations on the basis of 22 parameters. India slipped two ranks than previous year and has been positioned 143rd in the global rankings.

Some key observations from GPI 2014:

  • Syria replaced Afghanistan as the world’s least peaceful country. Iceland has retained its position as the most peaceful country in the world.
  • Georgia registered the largest improvement in peace, while South Sudan witnessed the sharpest decline and now ranks as the 3rd least peaceful nation.
  • Comparing India with its neighbours, Nepal ranked 76, Bangladesh (98), Sri Lanka (105), Pakistan (154), Afghanistan (161) and China (108).
  • From economic perspective, it cost Indian economy $ 177 billion for containing and dealing with the consequences of India’s level of violence. The cost is equivalent to 3.6% percent of GDP of India or $145 per person.

Top ten performers on GPI 2014:

  1. Iceland
  2. Denmark
  3. Austria
  4. New Zealand
  5. Switzerland
  6. Finland
  7. Canada
  8. Japan
  9. Belgium
  10. Norway

Global Peace Index (GPI)

Launched in 2007, GPI intends to a measure levels of world peace. Produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), the Index uses 22 indicators, ranging from a nation’s level of military expenditure to its relations with neighboring nations and the percentage of prison population in 162 countries.

The IEP, based in Sydney (Australia) is an international and independent think tank dedicated to draw the world’s attention towards peace as a positive, achievable, and tangible measure of human well-being and development.


Ukraine crisis: NATO suspends civilian and military co-operation with Russia

Following Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region, NATO suspended all practical civilian and military co-operation with Russia.  Russia’s annexation is being considered as a threat to European security.

The 28-member NATO bloc gathered in Brussels (Belgium) for their first meeting since Russia’s annexation of Crimea and stalwartly condemned Russia’s ‘illegal’ annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region. NATO is also considering options like situating permanent military bases in the Baltic States, to restore confidence amongst the members in Eastern Europe.

Why NATO is suspending civilian and military co-operation with Russia?

Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region was being considered the solemnest hazard to European security for quite sometime. Russia’s of Ukraine’s Crimea region has now fazed nerves in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which were a part of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The Baltic States which were a part of Soviet Union like Ukraine, whose Crimean territory was recently annexed by Russia, also fear an annexation in future.

The map below shows the position of Ukraine, Crimea region, Russia and Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) in RED.

Russia-Ukraine-Crimea-Baltic States

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Also called the (North) Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty (signed on 4 April 1949). The organization comprises a system of collective defence through which its member states accord to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external threat.

  • Formation: April 4, 1949
  • Type: Military alliance
  • Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium
  • Membership: 28 states
  • Members: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, UK, USA

Baltic States

Baltic States or countries are 3 northern European countries east of the Baltic Sea – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which attained independence from the Russian Empire in the backwash of World War I. In the period between the World Wars, the Baltic States also included Finland.

  • Membership: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania


WEF ranks India 101st on global gender gap index

The Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) placed India at a low 101st rank on a Global Gender Gap Index which ranked 136 nations on how well resources and opportunities are divided between men and women in four broad areas of economy, politics, education and health. Despite India’s improvement on the Index by four positions since 2012, the performance indicates poor state of affairs in gender parity.

Key observations of Global Gender Gap Index :
  • Ranked very high at 9th place for political empowerment
  • Placed at second-lowest position (135th) for health and survival
  • Ranked at a low of 124th for economic participation and opportunity
  • Positioned at 120th for educational attainment
  • Among five BRICS nations, it still remains lowest-ranked
Who are the top performing countries on Global Gender Gap Index 2013?

Top-10 positions on the global have been retained by:

  1. Iceland
  2. Finland
  3. Norway
  4. Sweden 
  5. Philippines
  6. Ireland
  7. New Zealand
  8. Denmark
  9. Switzerland
  10. Nicaragua

Other major countries:

  • Germany at 14th
  • South Africa at 17th
  • UK at 23rd
  • Russia at 61st
  • Brazil at 62nd 
  • China at 69th

The nations that have been placed below India also include Japan (105th), UAE (109th), Republic of Korea (111th), Bahrain (112th) and Qatar (115th).

Pakistan at 135th and Yemen at 136th are the countries ranked lowest.

How did India managed a high-ranking in political empowerment?

The high rank for political empowerment is mostly because of India getting the top-most score in terms of number of years with a female head of state (President), as its political scores is not very good for factors like number of women in Parliament and women in ministerial positions. While no country has reached parity in terms of years with a female head of state, India has managed to get top rank for this indicator, whereas 65% of countries have never had a female head of state over the past 50 years. As per WEF, increased political participation has helped narrow the global gender gap across the world.